Thirteen acres, that is all that remains. Three lone red brick buildings stand where once there was so much more. For this spot, right in the middle of suburban KansasCity, lies the remnants of the once great Shawnee Indian Mission. The Shawnee Mission was constructed in 1839 and was a school for children of mainly the Shawnee and Delaware Indian tribes from 1839 to 1862. When the mission was established. The Shawnee were moved from their native Ohio area to an Indian reservation. The children were taught in this school. the main reason for it was to convert Indians to Christianity, however, many believe that it was to protect the Indians, for they were dying and the saying, "The only good Indian is a dead Indian." still applied.
The mission was located at its initial site from 1830 to 1839. In 1839 the mission was moved to its present-day Johnson County location area, and there, an Indian Boarding School was opened. By 1862, enrollment at the mission had greatly declined due to increases in white settlement and the onset of the Civil War, and the Shawnee Mission ceased operations for good that year. Shawnee Methodist Mission was a camp. Established by missionaries in 1830 to minister to the Shawnee tribe of Native Americans, it was the second capital of the Kansas Territory, holding that designation from July 17, 1855, to the spring of 1856. It also served as a camp for union soldiers in the American Civil War.
Today, it is a museum located in the town of Fairway, Kansas. The Shawnee Indian Mission cemetary is owned and maintained by the Kansas Historical Society. It has been so since 1927, and was designated a National Historical Site in 1968. The cemetary contains the remains of Rev. Thomas Johnson, for whom our county is named, his wife, his brother, Rev. William Johnson, and several other family members.